Why Have a Systems Engineering (SE) Capability for Automotive Product Development? - Questions and Answers 2007-01-0782
A clear understanding of Customer and User requirements is essential to successfully develop, design, build, test and produce components and systems for Customer Programs. Systems Engineering (SE) is defined as “a formal process for the development of a complex system, driven by a set of established requirements, derived from the intended mission of the system throughout its life cycle”. Systems Engineering has been successfully employed for decades in aerospace and commercial product development, but its methodology may not be used or is underutilized by many automotive companies and their suppliers.
This paper will describe the characteristics and aspects of a “System” and the corresponding Systems Engineering methodology from educational, professional and corporate perspectives. A SE process will be described and discussed through the SE “V” diagram which illustrates how Customer Requirements are used to develop and allocate product requirements down through the system to subsystems and components for both hardware and software systems.
The typical roles and responsibilities of the Systems Engineer are considered and the question of “Why would a corporation want to develop Systems Engineering as a core competency” will be addressed through practical examples. Several potential SE organizations are discussed depending upon product complexity. The improvements that can be expected with the utilization of SE will be discussed. .Several considerations and approaches for the development of a Systems Engineering capability will be offered for those interested in developing such a capability.